Bears. Oh My! That’s right folks, a bear in Pasadena yesterday. I found out via e-mail from the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s department. The communication said in part,
“Advisory: Traffic Alert, Avoid Area: Bear by E/B 210 fwy near Arroyo Bl, Pasadena & Rose Bowl by Altadena. #BeBearAware:
Hi Melanie Rome,
Please avoid the area and avoid the bear.”
There are two things I love about this e-mail alert. Number one, it was decided that the biggest problem, by virtue of what issue is addressed first, is the affect that a bear has on traffic. That’s right, there’s nothing worse than screwing up one’s commute in LA, even if it involves a bear. President Obama’s trips to Tinsel Town always cause traffic tie-ups, especially during peak rush hour(s). But his visits don’t get the same amount of press coverage. Did you know that yesterday’s bear-near-the freeway story was considered “live, late-breaking news” by a couple of local TV stations and included video of the bear (not the band) on the run? In fact, in the body of the e-mail from the Sheriff is a link where you can view “actual footage” of bear lumbering over fences and passing through backyards. This is news, right?
The second part of my personalized message advises me to avoid the bear. Apparently, I am operating under the mistaken assumption that if you can read the warning, you are smart enough to know that confronting the bear might not be a good idea. What does this say about the general intelligence of the population? I guess I have come to realize that my perception about people gives them far more intellectual credit then they deserve OR perhaps the Sheriff’s department believes we are all really stupid. I guess you really can’t blame them if you can imagine the kinds of folks the Sheriff’s department deals with on a daily basis.
None the less, I live in a foothill area. And the e-mail I received yesterday has made me slightly nervous that one day I might go out into my backyard and find a bear frolicking in my swimming pool.
However, if I do find myself someday face-to-face with a bear, I know exactly what I would do: “Drop, cover and hold on.”
Wait a minute, I think I am supposed to do that when there is an earthquake.